This article is written by our Dele’Mates from the second week of COP25.
After a week of intense negotiations, it was time for the High-Level segment and more closed negotiations. Ministers arrived at the conference center to give short statements and continue working on several unresolved items from week one (e.g. Article 6, Finance, Loss and Damage). Furthermore, high-level speakers such as Greta Thunberg and Al Gore gave powerful statements about the urgency of the climate crisis. The two weeks were not only different in terms of negotiations, we also had two new Dele’Mates joining our team, Hugo and Venni. Throughout the second week, our team did not only get to experience the typical second-week tiredness from sleep deprivation and running around the massive conference center, but also the dramatic turns and unexpected events that took place.
After two week of the UN climate talks, disputes over a key climate target put Nepal’s glaciers at risk.
The parties failed to reach consensus to welcome the recent IPCC report at COP24. Keeping the climate crisis in view, at COP21, parties agreed to limit the temperature to well below 2ºC above pre-industrial levels; and to limit the increase to 1.5ºC. And during COP 24 at Katowice, parties are working together to create Paris Rulebook, for guiding implementation of Paris Agreement.
Since the Paris Agreement, it has been agreed that whether they are developed or developing, all countries have to fight against climate change and have to put efforts into the transition toward a low-carbon and resilient economy. Indeed all States need to be involved, because if change occurs only in developed countries, the result would not be enough to reach the target of 1.5°C presented by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in their last report in October. But as the article 9 of the Paris Agreement stated, it has been recognized that it would be difficult for developing countries to support the cost of their transition while they do not have the same financial resources or capacities as developed countries. Thus, developed countries have the duty to financially assist developing countries with respect to mitigation and adaptation and they shall lead the climate finance mobilization from a variety of sources, like public funds. In order to insure this transition, $100 billion per year by 2020 have been pledge from industrialized countries to help the poorer countries to achieve their transition toward a green economy.
This year’s climate conference in Poland, also known as COP24, was again of great importance. The direction for the further course of global change was meant to be set there and the task was to draw up a set of rules to implement the Paris Agreement.
When Saudi Arabia calls for waiting on including the 6th IPCC report, because of some “gaps” in the 5th report, it makes me wonder what image of scientists people have. Science is no absolute verity and will never be. Experiments and predictions, especially about climate change, can be wrong. There are always uncertainties and gaps, do you remember Popper’s concept of falsifiability?
CliMates participating in the 7th meeting of the Executive Committee on Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts.
The concept of « Loss and Damage » is possibly older than your younger sibling. If you were born in the 1990’s, you grew up in the warmest decade ever recorded. If you’re in your teens, almost every year of your life has been one of the hottest years ever recorded – Loss & Damage is the concept of of addressing climate change impacts, negative effects of climate variability and climate change that people have not been able to cope with or adapt to.
In the climate negotiations the concept was initially proposed in the early 1990s by Vanuatu on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States. A lot later in 2007 at COP13 the concept of addressing Loss & Damage was included in the « Bali Action Plan ».
Public and private sector finance is needed to achieve the Paris Agreement objectives
The Paris Agreement sets out two different objectives as regards climate finance: on the one hand developed countries need to invest $100bn dollars per year for mitigation and adaptation projects in developing countries and on the other hand, all finance flows need to progressively be consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development.
According to recent estimates, the costs of adapting to climate change could reach 280-500$ billion per year until 2050 while total bilateral and multilateral funding in developing countries reached 22.5$ billion in 2014. The Fund has been in operation since 2017, has allocated 462 million dollars to 70 adaptation programmes in 58 countries and had a fundraising target of 80 million dollars for 2017 that was surpassed. The numbers speak for themselves, representing a very small fraction of the amount needed for adaptation and loss and damage worldwide, which is often explained by the nature of the fund and the lack of orientation towards scalability of projects.
When studying economics you learn among others about game theory, a field of study that studies strategic decision making in situations of competition and conflict, cooperation and interdependence under specific rules. A “climate dilemma” is often described, derived from the Prisoner’s dilemma by Albert Tucker where the best possible outcome for all parties cannot be achieved given the short term benefit from an individual perspective to quit. The best example of course is the announced US exit from the Paris agreement. While trying to apply these theories to better understand the process of negotiations as an observer, you quickly realise that you lack large amounts of information about preferences of actors, their knowledge, strategic actions they are allowed to make and how each decision influences the outcome. And that while the ice is melting you may only really see the tip of the iceberg.
Thursday 16th of November in the NY plenary room of the UN Campus in Bonn. In front of a half-filled room, His Excellency Enele Sosene Sopoaga, Prime Minister of Tuvalu addressed the crowd with powerful words: “how would you feel if you were in my shoes? What would you do if you were facing the total disappearance of your country?”. Emphasizing on the threat of disappearance that are facing most Small Islands Developing States (SIDS), H.E Sopoaga raised his concerns about the state of negotiations regarding Loss and Damages at COP23.
«I want you to try to understand what it is like to be in my shoes, what you would do if you faced the total disappearance of your nation?" P.M. of Tuvalu gave a strong message @CliMates_@COP23pic.twitter.com/qMZfR1wChb